Caligula by Hourly History describes the life of a man and ruler who became a monster. Just when you thought you had read it all in terms of horror, in this short summary of history you can find the real-life horror that rivals some of the strangest fiction written by “extreme horror” writers today. And you can even feel good about yourself because you are reading non-fiction and increasing the amount of your liberal arts-based comprehensive knowledge.
When many think of Caligula they think of atrocities but in his first six months, Caligula was admired for reinstating the popular vote and establishing transparency in government spending. Ledgers detailing the use of government funds would no longer be private. He raised salaries and provided bonuses to the military. He issued a general pardon for people who had been convicted of treason. Records of trials for treason were to be destroyed. (loc 285-286).
What went wrong? There may have been a physical illness, encephalitis which caused Caligula to become insane. (loc 294-304) This may have led him to the extraordinary events that he became famous for such as ordaining a horse as a member of the priesthood or forcing a section of the audience into a stadium to be eaten by wild boars because he was bored. (loc 363).
What You Can Learn from This Book
What is the difference between the Roman Empire and the Roman Republic? Who supported each side and why?
Tiberius, an emperor in absentia for much of the time, didn’t like Caligula. He may have killed Caligula’s father. So why did Tiberius support Caligula’s ascension to power?
Claudius was a disabled and ignored member of Caligula’s family. After Caligula’s assassination and the follow-up attempts by almost all parties to wipe out Caligula’s remaining family members, how did Claudius become emperor?
Why does everybody seem to have “Julius Caesar” somewhere in their name?